Government suspends biometric attendance yet again as COVID cases rise

The practice of biometric attendance had just resumed in November 2021 after being suspended for over a year during the pandemic in 2020-21

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Given the speed at which people are testing COVID-19 positive, many are suspecting this to be the third wave of COVID-19 in India. As a safety measure, the Central government has suspended the use of biometric attendance for employees. Now, with the recent orders in place, attendance will be marked manually for staff members.

In March 2020, the order from the Personnel Ministry had pointed out that “the most common method of transmission of the virus seems to be through infected surfaces. Therefore, it is desirable to avoid touching surfaces, which might be infected due to human touch.”

It was just a couple of months back, in November, that the Ministry of Personnel had resumed the use of biometric machines, which had been suspended during the pandemic.

Now, the manual system has been resorted to yet again. “Keeping in view the rise in #COVID cases in the last few days, the biometric attendance for government officials and employees is being suspended with immediate effect, till further orders. Under leadership of PM Sh @NarendraModi, this decision has been taken in the interest of safety and health of the govt employees,” Jitendra Singh, Union Minister tweeted.

Recently, the Centre announced that all departments would work on a 50 per cent capacity for the workforce working below the level of Under Secretary. A schedule or roster will be drawn up by each of the departments of the Central government to regulate and manage the attendance.

Those attending office physically will be required to adhere to two time slots of 9 a.m. to 5.30 pm and 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. This was a measure adopted last year too, amid the pandemic, to ensure that workplaces are not overcrowded.

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